Bokeh refers to the technique of blurring an image to add to the aesthetic quality of a photograph. The word bokeh, derived from the Japanese word “boke” (pronounced “bo-keh”), literally translates to ‘fuzziness’. When a photographer wants to make an image appear softer, bokeh will put the object slightly out of focus without completely destroying the integrity of it’s definition.
Often, bokeh is confused with the idea of a picture’s “sharpness.” Rather than describing the point of focus, however, bokeh is the blurring of the background or foreground.
When an image within a camera’s lens is “in focus,” the camera has positioned the image at the point where most of the light has converged on the image to a fine point. Yet, if an image appears out of focus, then the light appears as a blurred disc, rather than a focused point. To create bokeh in a picture is to put the image out of focus without making it unrecognizable.
When bokeh is used incorrectly, a picture will render a combination of sharply defined lines combined with blurriness.
To the contrary, correctly performed bokeh produces an image with no sharp edges. Instead, the fuzziness produced by bokeh suggests the image without distinct borders.
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